The U.S. Green Building Council today announced that the 12,000th commercial project has earned certification in the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The latest addition joins more than 137,000 LEED registered and certified projects, homes, communities and neighborhoods worldwide.

Line graph of Square feet of LEED-certified commercial space at
Square feet of LEED-certified commercial space (click to enlarge) Source: USGBC

“Twelve years after the first 12 projects earned LEED certification, the green building community has reached a significant milestone,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “The momentum for green buildings is rippling around the globe, enhancing the built environment for generations to come.”

Since its launch in 2000, the LEED green building program has offered increasingly sophisticated standards for how green buildings are designed, constructed, operated and maintained.

Photo of USGBC LEED Gold Anahuac Wildlife Preserve building at
USGBC LEED Gold certified Anahuac Wildlife Preserve building (photo: Bernard Freeman, USFWS)

The 12,000th project is the LEED Gold Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Paid for by the Recovery Act and rebuilt after the original facility was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, the facility will house new wildlife exhibits, an environmental education center, and National Parks employees.

Fedrizzi said the 12k milestone is even more relevant as the USGBC finalizes LEED 2012, the next iteration of continuous improvement of the LEED program. “With these next changes, LEED will continue in its role as a catalyst for transformation of the built environment to ever higher standards of sustainable practice. Even in these challenging times, it’s clear that green building is a movement whose time is now.”